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Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

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Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

Post by Etreven on Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:21 am

March 2nd, 2012
3:27 PM
Stygian Tundra
The Citadel Upon The Cocytus



In maddening sameness, the frozen plains of the Stygian Tundra stretched across the horizon.  Each icy crag, each crystalline canyon, each solid, frozen river broke up the otherwise featureless expanse in a way that could not help but reinforce the sparsity and repetition of this uninhabitable realm.  And yet it was here that the way of the future would be paved, a vision of a world in which all imperfection had been cleared away.  A perfect world.  An unattainable world.  In his head he turned over and over the staggering depth of detail that had gone into his plan so far.  It took more capacity for recall, more focus, more attentiveness than any man should possess.  And yet he had been much more than a man for some time, had he not?  Many steps removed from the rest of humanity, a sacrifice he had not chosen but one that he managed not only to embrace but indeed master.  All of this was only possible because of him.

The questions flowed through him in the abstract.  His part in the game mattered only as much as the position of a king on a chessboard.  The entirety of this game was beyond view, the pieces so many and varied that it took preternatural ability to see it all.  But he could see it clearly, but it had ground to something of a halt.  There were pieces missing to this puzzle that had yet to come together, but at last he had become aware of the next piece needed to move the game forward.  The demon he sought was ancient.  Indeed, the hushed tones in which his name had been spoken referred to it most honorifically as The Archdemon That Wasn't.

His…organization had come along nicely.  In a way, many of the pieces came together on their own, a brilliant serendipity shuttling along a set of ambitions that might have otherwise (or in the hands of other men) taken years or decades.  It had only been a month since his scouts had discovered the keep that had quickly become the home of his little insurgency, and yet here he was attempting to draw into the fold the oldest demon not to sit amongst the Hell Princes.  Yes, things were moving rapidly indeed, but Etreven was entirely without worry.  He lacked the capacity for worry, and it had worked very much to his advantage so far.

Tricky work, finding the river he sought.  Interestingly enough, what made it most distinctive was that unlike the other ice gashes that spread like spiderwebs throughout the tundra, this one flowed.  His intelligence reported the rather garish fact that it was comprised of the tears of demons, a rumor he found less than entirely compelling.  It seemed somewhat more likely to him that the salt content of the river derived from some less sinister source, though he most certainly had to admit that from time to time such absurdities turned out to be truth in the hellscape of Inferis.

From there it was only a matter of tracing the river North (as best he could derive directions) though he had managed to recruit the aid of a demon who had what one could only call a natural sense of navigation in this otherwise hopelessly unnavigable tundra.  The best clue he had to follow was knowledge of the rare basalt architecture that spotted the plane, crumbling and ancient fortifications constructed by an unknown hand for an unknown purpose.  He'd taken such a fortress for his own, but knowledge of the look of the things aided his current search.

This one was reclusive, terrible to behold (or so it was said) and both exceedingly old and exceptionally powerful.  But what really interested him was the knowledge the creature sought forgiveness.  It was a useful spark, something anyone else might have called a glimmer of hope.  For Etreven it was a matter of utility, and he would most certainly try his hand at acquiring such an asset.

His thoughts were interrupted as he caught sight of a rising set of seamless walls, nestled between rocky crags that strode the shores of that salty stream gashing through the tundra.  Could he be lost?  Could this be some other lost structure?  Would the demon even be there, least of all receptive to the cause?  He had no way of knowing for certain.  But there was absolutely a chance.

The slim, taught demon before him drove the snowmobile ever further along the river, seemingly in a trance.  But as they approached the structure Etreven shouted, "There!  That's the place.  Pull us up to the front."  They had been riding for hours by now, and the seat had not become more comfortable with time.  Indeed, the morph form he currently occupied was only a matter of convenience, for Ymir had a fondness for walking about on his own two legs whenever possible.  Still, it would be good to separate.  Ymir was simply too close for comfort right now.

Settling on a snow bank not far from the towering entrance to this cavernous fort, Etreven and Ymir separated into their respective forms.  "Wait here until we return." the man shouted through the winter gear he now required to remain warm, the tragic requirements of mortality in such an inhospitable realm.  He knew the driver would be going nowhere.   That bit of business aside, the pair made the march from the moderate shelter the alcove provided their vehicle and driver and up to the supposed home of their quarry.

He allowed Ymir the honor of banging hard on the front doors.  "I seek an audience with Sathariel, The Concealment of God!" shouted Etreven.  Hopefully that would illicit an appropriate response.

_________________

Czech [azure]
Russian [olivedrab]
Mat (Russian Swearing Language) [firebrick]
English [lemonchiffon]
French [mediumseagreen]
German [goldenrod]
Demon [dimgray]

Ymir speaks predominantly in demon Demon (darkred) in bold italics in Etreven's head.  He also speaks Ancient Khmer (peru), Greek (lightcoral), Latin (antiquewhite), Old Norse (mediumturquoise), English (khaki), Japanese (darkslateblue), Hindi (skyblue) and Arabic (silver).
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Etreven
VOIDED EGOIST

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Re: Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

Post by Lucifuge on Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:16 am

O MY God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.

The Citadel-Upon-The-Cocytus loomed like a charred stump in the frozen wastes of Stygia, a forgotten blip on a map never fully drawn up. Within is deep and quiet halls, its sole occupant knelt in meditative prayer, hands clasped upon a crucifix of silver. The small object, something that could be bought at nearly any jewelry store on Earth proper, was something the demon only gained through great personal danger. He could still remember the look upon the Templar’s face as he had thanked him, thanked him for a righteous death. Death, however, did not come that day, the final blow too slight, too misguided, its accuracy denied by the demon’s aberrant shape. The cross had been laid atop his burning flesh, apparently as a hopeful manner of keeping him dead, but instead he took it as a hopeful sign. Even now as he held it, he could feel it burning in his grip, he could feel his body denying it as so long ago he had denied God. However, he could not let go, for this was his penitence.

and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments,

The small alcove he knelt before was one of forced simplicity. There was so little to work within the confines of Inferis, little enough for profane things and fewer still for a place of faith. Each small article upon the alcove was precious to the demon, despite most of the pieces coming from scavenging abandoned sites of Templar and Demon Hunter encampments. A few pages of the New Testament, a smattering of rosaries at various stages of age, a chipped porcelain Jesus, a few candles with prayers in Spanish upon their glass shells, and a variety of others. He knew that his little place of worship was not nearly worthy of the Lord but he also knew that God appreciated thought and action than mere gesture. The presence of a few Popes in Inferis was enough to prove that. Even this tiny shrine was a beacon of faith in the darkness of Hell.

but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love.

In the eons that the demon spent here in this frozen hell, not once had his prayers been answered, not once had he heard again the voice of God, not once had he felt His hand directly. However he knew that God’s Hand was everywhere and that it guided everything, he knew that he was not worthy of the Lord’s attention, and yet like all other things were given it somehow, some way. But... in only very recent days, the angelic Skyhavens appeared in the skies over Inferis, the modern Archangels made their presence seen and heard, and the demon felt that perhaps the time had finally come. Was this the End of Days? Was this the Harrowing of Hell? Would his deeds now make a difference? Could he now actually have the chance to reach out and once again touch heaven? The demon didn’t know, he could not say and he could not imagine. All he could do was wait, act, and hope.

I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.

As the demon laid down his cross, the boiling pain upon his palms quickly enveloped with new shifting flesh, distant echoing booms sounded through halls. He stood quickly, his myriad eyes forming and shifting across his form in an attempt to prepare for the situation. Who could have traversed the wastes to reach him here? Why would they knock in the first place? Then…he heard a voice follow the pounding. It was distinctly human despite being in the demonic tongue; it lacked the guttural roughness of most who spoke it. It was too fluid, too real…But…the name it spoke…that ancient name.

“Sathariel”

That name was not one that the demon had a heart for. It was the name that was imprinted upon this horrible body, the name that his own Angelic Sigil had been warped into upon his Fall. He had taken the name Lucifuge, He Who Flees The Light, as he felt it was apt for his sins, but that name which was printed upon his soul was one of pain and sorrow beyond mortal comprehension. It was, however, a True Name, and therefore he would be unable to deny its call…

The demon swept his massive crimson cloak from a nearby chair and placed it upon his currently broad boney shoulders before swiftly moving through his long halls, the number and shape of his legs changing every few strides, surely making a confusion of sounds. Soon he came to the gates of his reclusive fortress and he stood behind the door for a time before answering. His voice echoed strangely, the demon Ymir would hear him speak in a slightly off Demonic, but the Ritualist would hear it the Czech Bohemian tongue. “You who have spoken the Name Sathariel, for what cause have you called me forth? To whom do I address?”


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Re: Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

Post by Etreven on Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:14 am

Ymir stood stoic, a spiked monstrosity, all points and teeth and grins.  He was patient for a demon, and the man he possessed was more patient still.  They would have stood at those gates and listened for a very long time if they thought their quarry would yet reply.  The demon they sought was something of a lynchpin, if the rumor was to be true, and they had long since decided a more consistent front was required for the organization they were creating.  The use of that ancient name had been meant as a beacon, one piece of very old and very useful information calling out to a being they weren't positive existed.  Nonetheless, those they had consulted felt certain they spoke more than rumors, and Ymir's blood was a useful guarantee that their words rang true.  So here they were.

It took time before they heard a response, and when it came it was from within the unopened gates of the keep.  The words were instantly clear in meaning, but it was impossible to trace just what language they were meant to be.  It was as if the mother of all language had channeled itself through those words, bright and clear and unambiguous.  The result was deeply unsettling, the very malleability of execution ultimately a reflection of the strange body of the demon who spoke.  “You who have spoken the name Sathariel, for what cause have you called me forth? To whom do I address?”  The words felt old.  The name felt old.  The place felt older still.  And there, standing in the cold, the pair waited a moment and replied.

Etreven's words came first.  In fact he wasn't certain if Ymir would speak at all.  Perhaps if things went poorly, but it seemed more useful for him to remain silent on the periphery.  It was more effective where their story was concerned, but that didn't mean Ymir wouldn't take action if required.  But for now…"You have been called forth by Etreven, bonded partner to the demon Ymir and seeker of those who would stand against dark and potent wills and times that are darker still.  In these unprotected wastes I dare not say more, but know that we come as friends and allies to seek you out, old one."  It was a starting point certainly, but if and when those doors opened?  As the old adage went, there be dragons.

_________________

Czech [azure]
Russian [olivedrab]
Mat (Russian Swearing Language) [firebrick]
English [lemonchiffon]
French [mediumseagreen]
German [goldenrod]
Demon [dimgray]

Ymir speaks predominantly in demon Demon (darkred) in bold italics in Etreven's head.  He also speaks Ancient Khmer (peru), Greek (lightcoral), Latin (antiquewhite), Old Norse (mediumturquoise), English (khaki), Japanese (darkslateblue), Hindi (skyblue) and Arabic (silver).
avatar
Etreven
VOIDED EGOIST

Posts : 53
Join date : 2013-07-07
Age : 39

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Power Level: 1
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Re: Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

Post by Lucifuge on Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:05 am

Lucifuge heard the ritualist’s words and considered them for a time. It was difficult to trust one who spoke that damnable name that was etched upon this body, that name that his own Angelic name had been twisted into by the Fall. There was something…strange about the mortal’s words, it was as though they were alluring in a manner far too potent than the words themselves should have been. The ancient demon knew not to trust words alone so easily, he had done so once before and that had led to his damnation. However it was not often that a mortal could make his way to the doors of his keep, it was something worthy of respect and perhaps an audience at the least. He would not, however, be taken unprepared.

The ancient demon focused and forcibly molded his body, covering his undulating form in black beetle-like chitin. His arms became long grasping claws and his legs, somewhat beyond his control, became four spider-like appendages. He could not, however, mold his face, the use of his True Name making it impossible for him to hide that part of him at least, thus it remained a continually mutating and shifting landscape of boney plates, eyes, and mouths. Grasping one claw tightly, a shaft of brilliant white light formed in his grip, tipped with a great blade that crackled with energy. If the ritualist meant him evil then the Trisagion would make short work of both the ritualist and his demon pet. However, Lucifuge refused to be the first to strike.

Pulling a lever, Lucifuge allowed the gates to rise slowly until the Czech and the demon Ymir were visible to him. He stood before them in his great billowing crimson robe, the light of the Trisagion reflecting off of his black carapace. A thousand unblinking eyes then a single massive one, ever shifting and ever flowing, stared from the tall and ancient creature, down upon the mortal and his demon. He spoke once again in that tongue neither holy nor profane, but somewhere between and beyond. “I shall grant thee audience, Etreven son of Adam and Ymir child of Lucifer, but know that I will not tolerate blasphemies or lies within these halls. You shall call me Lucifuge, for I dare not allow that more ancient name be spoken more often than needed.”

With that, the Fallen Angel stretched out an arm and directed them to follow him down the ancient halls of the Citadel-Upon-The-Cocytus which would eventually lead to his simple audience chamber, merely a long room set with chairs and a table seemingly carved from a single flawless piece of ivory. Although of note, within the room, was a large crucifix mounted above the fireplace on the furthest wall. Lucifuge would take his place at the head of the table, but would not sit himself until the ritualist and Ymir had made themselves comfortable.

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Re: Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

Post by Etreven on Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:44 am

It had taken time and an exceptional amount of energy and personal devotion, but they had clawed that ancient name out of a demon who had spent almost a century perpetualy drowning beneath the salty waters of the Cocytus.  It had not required torture, for the demon had spent practically its every waking moment in ceaseless agony.  No, it required the very antitheses.  Patience and healing.  Positive arts, which were of course a rarity in the depths of Inferis.  From those screaming lips in a brief moment of peace the ancient name had been spoken and through the eyes of the perpetually dying, truth had been seen.  And after all, wasn't it really truth that drove Etreven?  Perpetually chasing confirmation of the truth of impermanence?

It was a lonely struggle, to so thoroughly worship at the altar of interpersonal alienation at the heart of the void, but it was the only struggle left to the man.  So here they were, listening disaffectedly to that disquieting voice reply.  The old name, it seems, had power and that power was enough to summon the demon forward.

The sight of the thing was great and terrible.  Half disfigured mess out of an awful 1970's monster flick and half something far, far worse.  And yet below the facade there was the serenity, focus and repentance.  It settled around the creature like an aura, obvious to any in the vicinity.  This ancient being had come to know some greater truth of the universe, like a mystic of old discovering on his deathbed the secret to inner peace.  But this one?  This one had not done all he was meant to yet.  Which meant that he could prove very useful to Etreven indeed, if the scenario played out as it should.

Etreven attempted to sort out the language spoken by the demon but couldn't.  Each word's meaning was perfectly conveyed and yet when he attempted to recall the specific word that had been used it was as though the memory wasn't there at all.  That particular feeling was one he was more than aware of, but this time it had a source.  A source that gave him moment to doubt an important self-truth.  Even if only for a second…but that second meant a great deal.

“I shall grant thee audience, Etreven son of Adam and Ymir child of Lucifer, but know that I will not tolerate blasphemies or lies within these halls. You shall call me Lucifuge, for I dare not allow that more ancient name be spoken more often than needed.”  What passed for the demon's arm guided them into the citadel and neither hesitated.  Their resolve had been hardened long ago, albeit for very different reasons.  The pair stepped forward, following their host and prospective recruit through the ancient halls.  The similarities in structure between this and the home of his insurgency weren't lost on him.  Someone or something had built them, a very long time past, and he had a feeling it wasn't anyone present in the place at current.

"Then please, lead on Lucifuge.  We are here to speak and would more gladly do so on your terms and at your comfort."  As they arrived in the meeting chamber Etreven couldn't help but take note of the layout of the place.  Once more the similarities were practically uncanny.  Very much worth noting for the future.  He watched as the ancient demon stood over his seat.  Clearly there was an expectation that they should sit first, though he was certain Ymir would continue standing.  He always did.  Still, Etreven pulled his chair out and took his seat, eyes on the shifting form of the terrible demon before him.  He was certainly making a habit of putting himself in very strange and very dangerous company.

_________________

Czech [azure]
Russian [olivedrab]
Mat (Russian Swearing Language) [firebrick]
English [lemonchiffon]
French [mediumseagreen]
German [goldenrod]
Demon [dimgray]

Ymir speaks predominantly in demon Demon (darkred) in bold italics in Etreven's head.  He also speaks Ancient Khmer (peru), Greek (lightcoral), Latin (antiquewhite), Old Norse (mediumturquoise), English (khaki), Japanese (darkslateblue), Hindi (skyblue) and Arabic (silver).
avatar
Etreven
VOIDED EGOIST

Posts : 53
Join date : 2013-07-07
Age : 39

Case File
Power Level: 1
Character Faction: Greyscale
Player: Irik Velt

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Re: Of Salt and Salvation [Etreven/Lucifuge]

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